(CNN) – The state legislative committee investigating the role members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration played in closing down lanes to the George Washington Bridge will continue its work despite being dealt a blow by a local judge.
“We’re going to continue to look at bringing people in for testimony and we’ll continue to work on obtaining other documents,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewksi, the Democratic co-chair of the Select Committee on Investigation, said on Thursday.
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A day earlier, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson dismissed the panel’s complaints that Christie's ex-campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, had not complied with subpoenas requesting documents. The two have invoked their constitutional right to remain silent.
Jacobson wrote in her 98-page decision that the subpoenas were very broad and put their Fifth Amendment rights in jeopardy. Wisniewski believes the committee could still obtain emails and texts from the two former Christie officials.
“It’s important to point out that this is not in any way a roadblock to the work of the committee,” Wisniewksi told CNN. He said they could issue new subpoenas for Kelly and Stepien that are narrower in scope.
Jacobson cleared up another issue, ruling that the committee does have the ability to grant immunity in exchange for handing over requested documents. Doing so, though, could have implications for a federal criminal probe taking place simultaneously.
“We’re not sure whether we want to go down that road,” Wisniewski said.
The committee’s investigators are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, according to Wisniewski. “Our counsel [Reid Schar] who is a former assistant U.S. attorney in Illinois, is very familiar with the process that a U.S. attorney must take in this sort of situation. He is advising us on how to proceed without crossing any boundaries that we shouldn’t."
An internal review by outside lawyers hired by Christie’s office cleared him of any wrongdoing.
But critics say the investigation was incomplete. Lawyers did not speak with several people who are said to have played a role in shutting down access lanes to the bridge in Fort Lee.
The resulting four day traffic jam may have been an act of retribution targeting the town’s mayor for not endorsing Christie’s re-election campaign.
Wisniewski said if they don’t receive all of the documents sought by the end of the day Friday they’ll issue a subpoena to the law firm for the information.